Google Could Face Formal EU Charges And Fines

Google could face formal charges in the EU’s antitrust inquiry into the search and email giant.Investigators have been looking at whether Google has abused its large search market share by pushing its own products.

Google Could Face Formal

Rivals such as Microsoft want more competition in areas like online maps, search and shopping.

The case has dragged on for five years, and some legal analysts now expect Europe’s antitrust commissioner Margrethe Vestager to file formal charges against Google, the New York Times reported.

This could increase pressure on Google to settle to avoid a formal finding of wrongdoing and a massive fine.

The record penalty imposed on a company for competition offences is £800m – levied on Intel in 2009 for abusing its dominance of the computer chip market.

The maximum fine against Google could be as much as £4.4bn.

Microsoft was hit with fines totaling almost £1.4bn over a decade for antitrust-related issues.

While Google’s competitors in Europe would welcome tough action, US president Barack Obama warned Europe in February against making “commercially driven” decisions to penalise Google and Facebook.

Google has offered three previous settlements to resolve the case.

Just over a year ago is offered to give competing products bigger visibility on the site, and make it easier to advertisers to move their campaigns to rivals.

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